Leaders Inspiring Change

Leaders Inspiring Change
Posted on 02/20/2019

Superintendent Column

At Leander ISD, we know public schools play a critical role in developing the next generation of leaders. We celebrated Dr. Martin LutherKing Day last month and celebrate Presidents Day this week. Our country is fortunate to have had many great leaders since our forefathers declared independence in 1776.

In partnership with our School and Community Relations team, I recently asked our students to share stories about a leader from history who has inspired them. I was fascinated and impressed by their responses.

Students wrote about Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony and others who strived for equality, peace and freedom.

“I would like to be more like Anthony, because I want to inspire other girls to break past harmful gender norms and become the powerful women of the next generation,” a Vandegrift High School student wrote. “Everyone should be able to accomplish what they dream of without having something as simple as their own gender or race holding them back.”

Students chose musicians (Sam Cooke), political leaders (Nelson Mandela), Founding Fathers (Alexander Hamilton) and state legends (Sam Houston). A Leander High School student wrote about Oskar Schindler’s efforts to save Jewish refugees during World War II. Another standout talked about becoming a vegetarian and appreciating Linda McCartney’s efforts in founding a company that featured both delicious food and social consciousness.

“At the time Linda started her company, vegetarianism was not a mainstream movement as it is today,” she wrote. “The company was based on a foundation of kindness and compassion, and she chose to extend the company’s values to environmentally friendly packaging and fair wages for workers.”  

Perhaps my favorite was a Rouse student’s selection of her grandmother, who built a multi-million dollar company, but had an even bigger impact among her family.

“She encourages people to do what they want in life,” she wrote. “And she has helped me in many ways with my mental health and just becoming a better person.”

I want to thank all the students who took part in our February Student Voice activity and shared such amazing stories of inspiration. Please know we remain committed to hearing and learning from our students every day. LISD is truly blessed to educate the best generation of students in my three-decade career.